Lyons: Disney’s Pro Bowl parade lacks special draw

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, February 1, 2017

My family really isn’t into parades.

Oh, like any good New Orleans area parents we dutifully took our daughter to several Mardi Gras parades when she was younger.  We sat her atop a scary ladder on a cement sidewalk, fed her lots of sugar and let inebriated adults throw things at her.

Now she’d just as soon skip it.

Last week our baby girl turned Sweet 16. Instead of a big fancy party, she chose a trip to Disney World. We booked it, not realizing it was the same weekend the NFL’s Pro Bowl would be in Orlando for the first time.

Not only that, there would be a Pro Bowl parade through Magic Kingdom, complete with “several” players from the game.

It was a sports writer’s (and a coach’s) dream come true, especially after Saints quarterback Drew Brees was added to the roster during the week.

Well, not so much for the 16-year-old.

Not only does she not own a single sports-related article of clothing, she probably couldn’t name any player other than Drew Brees.

Friday morning we all were excited to head off to Magic Kingdom. My husband and I put on our best Saints shirts, ready to see some famous football players.

We did see a few wandering around the Happiest Place on Earth with their Disney escorts. It’s not written in their contracts, but famous football players do not have to stand in line an hour to ride Splash Mountain like we did. They get Fast Passes to everything.

The big parade was scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Around 1 p.m., we ordered ice cream and scouted out a nice spot of curb next to some Pittsburgh Steelers fans.

The Birthday Girl quickly got bored.

“Can I go shop, since this is a sports parade and I have absolutely no interest in sports?” she asked.

“Sure,” I said. “But I am putting that in my column.”

The Coach and I sat on the curb and waited. And waited. And waited some more.

At about 2:25, a high school band from North Carolina marched by. At about 2:40 a high school band from Virginia marched by.

Finally, about 2:45, we saw the Pro Bowl parade banner coming down Main Street.

Then, a white antique car rolled by with Mickey Mouse and Denver Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas, Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier and Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker.

That was followed by two double-decker buses filled with people we probably should have known but didn’t, then a small group of NFL cheerleaders, including one Saintsation who was very excited to see us.

That was it. It took all of 10 minutes. There wasn’t even a street sweeper behind it. Not even a guy with a broom.

As my husband pulled me up off the curb, we did spot some fellow Who Dats across the street from us. They were from Chalmette and were as disappointed as we were.

We didn’t get to see Drew Brees, who tweeted a photo of he and his family enjoying Thunder Mountain Railroad while we were in the Splash Mountain line.

After riding in the Super Bowl parade and the one in New Orleans, he probably knew even Disney wouldn’t be able to top that.

Lori Lyons is sports editor at L’OBSERVATEUR. She can be reached at 985-652-9545 or